By Ignatius Ushie
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $2.8million for the procurement of rolling stocks operational maintenance equipment for Ibadan to Kano standard gauge and Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway projects.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said this when he addressed State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, rolling stocks are consumables meant for the maintenance and operation of the railway.
“I have an approval of the cabinet to procure rolling stocks operational maintenance equipment for the new railway projects corridors in Ibadan to Kano standard gauge and Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge rail lines to the tune of $2,810,574, 064.92 including 7.5 per cent tax.
“Rolling stocks are consumables for the maintenance and operation of the railway.
“So, with this, we will replace all the rolling stock; they are essentially the consumables we use to maintain the train coaches and locomotives.”
On the reported attack on train passengers in Kogi, Amaechi said the attack was not carried out at the train station.
Ameachi said the report reaching him indicated that the victims were attacked outside the station while heading to their destinations. He noted that “The report I got wasn’t at the rail station, it was on their way out of the station; our responsibility is inside the station.
“But again, you’re right. I have to go and find out the level of armed security in the station.
“We’ve never been attacked inside the station, that does not mean we should not find out; so I thank you for reminding me to cross-check.
“Policemen are supposed to be at every station because we have railway police. So let me not just assume that they are there because we have never been attacked in the station.”
Amaechi also confirmed that nobody was killed as a result of the attack, as was reported in some quarters.
“The report I got from them was that on their way home, the road from the station to the community, they were attacked.
“But I didn’t hear that they were killed. I will find out from the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation,” Amaechi said.